We say: 'Stop the fat-cat bonuses.' You say...
Last week we called for an end to exorbitant payouts to bankers – and your letters suggest The IoS has touched a nerve
Sunday 01 November 2009
It is extremely unfair that bankers take bonuses on activity that is a con: borrowing at 0 per cent to buy government bonds at 3.5 per cent is stealing from the taxpayer. Why am I not given this facility? I am more credit worthy than the banks, which are bust, save for the loans from our grandchildren.
Bankers' bonuses, risk-taking and moral hazard are dangerous and damaging our society. Real entrepreneurs live on creative opportunity, hope of occasional success and reward over a lifetime, not the touch of a button.
Too many people are making shedloads of money on the back of producing ... nothing. Until we start producing something and stop relying on spread-betters, then our service-based economy will continue to be at the mercy of shortsighted people who are only interested in short-lived profits.
The underlying issue is income distribution. A progressive income tax system would levy 100 per cent tax at £250,000 a year. Let banks (and others) pay, but let the state take all excess remuneration for the public benefit. How else can fat cats be brought to realise the position of those existing on remuneration at or below the median?
Thank you for your important campaign. Brown might even win the forthcoming election if he banned bonuses and trimmed City pay in line with pay for senior public-sector employees. Could there be ulterior motives underlying the decision not to legislate against bonuses contrary to the overwhelming tide of public opinion favouring such legislation?
Hove, East Sussex
The country won't collapse if some self-indulgent, coke-snorting, thirtysomething white boys emigrate to daddy's mansion in Monaco. How can this excessive greed be justified? Shame on you Brown, Darling, Mandelson et al!
After 20 years in the design industry, with a niche skill that exists only as a freelance position, all my possible employers dropped freelancers to cut costs. The bank I'd been with for 25 years retracted loans and overdraft facilities and wouldn't contemplate a solution that let me keep my home as an income. All my efforts to diversify are struggling desperately and I don't know how much longer I can pay my rent. So thank you, bankers.
We should at least do the same as the Obama administration. It is vital that strong action is taken to indicate to these people that the world has changed and that they must change with it.
The danger in the big-salary culture is that the gap between rich and average wage will widen. Ordinary earners will become intolerant, especially if under threat from redundancy. History shows that too great a difference may lead to revolt. If a fair salary is paid in the City there is no need for a bonus. The UK must get back to an economy based on output of products based on invention and knowledge, not fancy derivatives dreamt up by City spivs.
What do the bankers do with all this money? They spend a good deal of it with small companies such as my own. I then pass a good deal of it on to subcontractors, employees, suppliers and the taxman. This is what makes a vibrant economy.
I was paid a salary to do the job that my employer wished me to do. If I satisfied my employer, I might receive a salary increase but not a bonus. Where did this crazy idea of paying bonuses start? They should either be banned, or any bonus over £5,000 should be taxed at 98 per cent. The £6bn said to be being paid out soon should be used to reduce public borrowing, not squandered on luxury goods.
D W Massey
Congratulations! At last, a serious campaign on the issue of bankers' pay and bonuses. The US has taken the lead and we should now follow.
Well done for campaigning on this issue. It's a travesty that bankers still give themselves mega-bonuses.
Why, in banking, is it assumed that those on high salaries will not work to the best of their ability unless they are bribed?
Rev Geoffrey B Bamford
Holmbridge, West Yorkshire
I read that the banks are afraid that if they don't pay big bonuses, the "best brains" will leave. Considering it was these brilliant minds that got us into the mess, they should make way for some new employees who understand the basics of economics and business ethics.
The bankers are pigs that can't get their noses out of the trough. My resentment is turning to cold anger with these self-serving monsters.
This is the perfect chance to rid our banking system of its 1980s, "I'm all right Jack" ideals, perpetuated because they make the stupid and greedy appear clever and virtuous.
The lily-livered response of politicians to this national disgrace is shameful. I can just about stomach my taxes being used to save banks that were in danger of collapse through their own incompetence and greed; what I cannot accept is my taxes being used by these same banks to pay bonuses to fat cats who are already grossly overpaid.
Rathmullan, Co Donegal
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